September 8, 2008 / 11:10 PM / 10 years ago

Federer downs Murray to win fifth U.S. Open

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Roger Federer clinched his fifth successive U.S. Open crown and a 13th grand slam title with a 6-2 7-5 6-2 victory over British sixth seed Andy Murray Monday.

Roger Federer of Switzerland returns a shot to Andy Murray of Britain during their men's final match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament at Flushing Meadows in New York, September 8, 2008. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

The Swiss second seed breezed through the opening set and held off a Murray fightback in the second before wrapping up victory in one hour 51 minutes.

Federer, beaten twice by the Briton in their first three career meetings, become the first man since American Bill Tilden in 1924 to triumph five times in a row in New York.

The win was Federer’s first grand slam title of the year, moving him to within one of the record 14 held by American Pete Sampras.

“It definitely feels great,” a beaming Federer said in a courtside interview after hitting 36 winners. “This is a very special moment in my career.

“I had a couple of tough grand slams this year, finishing in the semi-finals and two finals, and one epic in Wimbledon, so to take this home is incredible. It means the world to me.”

Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts after winning the second set against Andy Murray of Britain during the men's final match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament at Flushing Meadows in New York September 8, 2008. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn

Murray, who shocked Spanish world number one Rafael Nadal in four sets in the previous round, had been bidding to become the first British man to win a grand slam since Fred Perry won the U.S. title in 1936.

The sixth-seed Scot, playing in his first grand slam final in blustery conditions on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court, saved one break point in the fourth game before holding for 2-2.

Federer held for 3-2 and then broke the 21-year-old in the sixth when Murray hit a forehand wide.

The Swiss looked the more assured early on and his greater aggression helped him to another break in the eighth game when a Murray backhand sailed wide to give him the opening set in 27 minutes.

FOREHAND WINNER

Federer, 27, held easily at the start of the second and a brilliant forehand winner gave him a break for 2-0.

Murray looked in real trouble but he smashed a forehand return winner to move 40-0 up on the Federer serve in the next game and clinched the break with a superb backhand pass.

Slideshow (4 Images)

After holding for 2-2, the Scot again went 40-0 up on Federer’s serve but the Swiss got himself out of the trouble, with the help of one missed line call that would have given Murray the break.

Games stayed on serve until 6-5 when Federer ripped a forehand pass down the line to snatch the second set.

Murray smashed his racket into his bag in frustration and at two sets down, the energy went out of his game and his will was broken.

A netted forehand gave Federer an early break in the second game of the third set and he then repeated the feat two games later before holding serve to lead 5-0.

Murray got on the scoreboard by holding in the sixth game and Federer then showed a few nerves as he failed to serve out.

A double-fault by the Scot handed Federer a match point but Murray saved it with a backhand volley winner.

Federer forced a second chance, though, and clinched it when Murray’s attempted reply to an overhead from the Swiss found the net.

Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes

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